Charlie Hunnam — who was officially cast as Christian last month — will no longer be playing the role, according to Deadline. We'll pause here for you to either cheer joyously or weep in despair. Dakota Johnson is still attached as Anastasia Steele.
"The filmmakers of Fifty Shades Of Grey and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule, which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey," says a statement issued by Universal.
Wow! It had seemed like this would be a life-changing role for Charlie, who is currently starring on TV's Sons of Anarchy. He has had so-so luck becoming a movie star thus far, as his summer film Pacific Rim was moderately successful. But there's no question that he can get sexy, as seen in these smokin' hot videos.
But do you believe that the reason for his departure is really a scheduling issue? We find that a little hard to swallow, given that Charlie and the movie studio presumably would have worked out any scheduling kinks when he initially took the job.
So it seems more likely that either Charlie decided that the sexy film was the wrong direction for his career, or the studio didn't think he was the right fit after all. Indeed, there have been groups of fans who have been petitioning for a casting change to be made ever since Charlie was chosen.
And now the big question is, who will replace him? The studio is certainly in a time crunch, as the film begins shooting in early November to make its scheduled release date of August 1, 2014. It had been reported in late August that Magic City's Christian Cooke and Divergent star Theo James were the two other finalists for the role, so perhaps they'll get another shot. Alex Pettyfer had also reportedly been meeting with the studio. However, it seems that higher-profile actors like Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum have been scared away from such a provocative role.
A previous report had also said that Robert Pattinson was author E.L. James's top choice for the role, and that fan favorites Matt Bomer and The Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder were never considered. But maybe one of them is still in the running. Henry Cavill has been a popular pick amongst fans, but presumably he would have scheduling issues, given his role in the upcoming Man of Steel 2. We could also see a TV actor like True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard or Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick stepping in.
But since it's such a sexy role, maybe the studio should go with someone who is clearly okay with sexuality on screen. After all, we know James Franco delves into sexuality with indie films he's made, so he might be game. And if all else fails, porn star James Deen recently made his legit film debut with Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons and has expressed interest in Christian. Heck, he certainly wouldn't get squeamish about Fifty Shades being too racy.
Long story short: With so many options are you relieved that someone else is playing Christian — and who should it be? Or did you think Charlie was the perfect choice?